How to Camp Like a Pro By Someone Who Lives In a Tent

Who better to give camping advice than someone who lives in a tent? Darren Alff, a bicycle touring pro, has been sleeping wild for years.

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Camp Out Indoors
To get yourself mentally and physically prepared, try having a dry run at home. “One of the best things to do is to start living your life as if you were on a camping trip right now,” says Alff. “Sleep in your sleeping bag; bathe with the camping toiletry kit; wear the same clothes you’ll travel in. If you’re really into preparation, try sleeping on the ground (or even outside) for several nights before you leave.”

Beware the Solo Mission
Straying into the wilderness, away from established campsites, is certainly a more fulfilling experience, but it’s not without its dangers. “If you’re traveling alone and you choose to stealth camp, know that you are your own rescuer,” warns Alff. “If you get into trouble, no one is going to know where you are. If you get yourself into a dangerous situation, you’re the only person that’s going to be able to get you out of it. Stealth camping can be scary and dangerous, but it can also be beautiful and rewarding.”

Let Yourself Be Changed
Being a serial cyclist and camper has taught Alff a lot about what he really wants from life. To wit: “My bicycle travels have taught me that success isn’t determined by how much we own, and life isn’t fulfilled once we reach a certain number of zeros in our bank accounts. The thing is, in order to live the life you want, you have to change… and change isn’t easy.”

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